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Blank_
February 19th, 2017, 09:51 AM
The man affectionately known as "Old Hickory", Andrew Jackson was a famed general during the War of 1812, who defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans. His prestige as a general catapulted him into the White House, where he would become one of the more controversial figures in American history.

On the one hand, he is lauded as being a great President who kept South Carolina from seceeding from the Union, dug the United States out of debt for the only time in her history, and took on the corruption of the big and centralized banks.

However, others would argue that Jackson was a tyrant because of his expansion of the powers of the Executive branch, the introduction of the "spoils system", and his refusal to accept the Supreme Court decision to allow the Cherokee to keep their land, thus initiating the Trail of Tears.

What do you think Andrew Jackson's legacy should be? Should he be remembered as a brilliant Commander in Chief or as a malevolent dictator?

Voice_Of_Unreason
February 19th, 2017, 10:43 AM
It would be a disservice to history to claim that someone either has a legacy of greatness or a legacy of failure. History is not black and white, there are good leaders who do awful things and evil leaders who did some good things. We should remember Andrew Jackson not as just a great military leader or just as an abuser of executive power, but as both.

bentheplayer
February 19th, 2017, 11:55 AM
This has always been an extremely contentious issue but I think that for such kind of "leaders", their intent and actions has to be assessed in the context of what they are faced with. In all societies, there will be always be winners and losers due to the nature of public policy. It is very easy to criticize now when we have a better picture than they did at the time when decisions were made. I would rather use him as a example to learn from his brilliance and failings than try judge his legacy. Besides what benefit is there whether we say about his legacy? Not that it matters apart from man's ego.

Blank_
February 19th, 2017, 12:19 PM
This has always been an extremely contentious issue but I think that for such kind of "leaders", their intent and actions has to be assessed in the context of what they are faced with. In all societies, there will be always be winners and losers due to the nature of public policy. It is very easy to criticize now when we have a better picture than they did at the time when decisions were made. I would rather use him as a example to learn from his brilliance and failings than try judge his legacy. Besides what benefit is there whether we say about his legacy? Not that it matters apart from man's ego.
I just thought it would be relevant to discuss it because there is debate on whether he should be removed from the $20 bill and replaced with somebody else

bentheplayer
February 19th, 2017, 01:00 PM
I just thought it would be relevant to discuss it because there is debate on whether he should be removed from the $20 bill and replaced with somebody else

Ah I see. Well I am not from the US so I wasn't aware of this change. But does it matter whose face is on a bill? I normally don't even look at what is printed on the bill apart from the value written on it.

Porpoise101
February 21st, 2017, 05:18 PM
I don't think he was all that great. Sure, he was a good general in a war but the Battle of New Orleans did not even matter because peace was attained. He never settled the secession issue either (it would arise in a worse form within decades).

The trail of tears situation demonstrated that the guy was just fluff when it came to helping the working class. Instead, he defied the Supreme Court, tied the Army up in Florida for years hunting down Seminoles, and caved to business interests. The native peoples that he expelled weren't even the 'savage' types that you think of in Pocahontas or something, these were semi-literate Christianized people too.

He was a drunk and a confrontational man too. Any advances against a "corrupt elite" were negated against the spoils system that this guy developed. I guess one good think he did in the corruption and democracy department is that he made the government answer more to the people, or at least he gave off that idea.

While he reduced the national debt to zero, I do not know how indicative that is of his leadership. After all, there were not that many mandatory expenses like we have today, making that task relatively easy. Even if that is a great achievement, the guy's attack on the US Bank essentially caused every financial crisis for the next 80 years.

Most of the good he did as a leader is outweighed or overshadowed by the bad.